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CCRC Service Update and Jukebox News May 2020

How are you?  

Such a seemingly simple question. One that was a lot less complicated just a few short months ago, but as we enter the third month of the pandemic in Canada, this question is top of mind for many of us.  How are we? How are our loved ones? How are the people in our communities?

The Coronavirus has fundamentally shifted how we live, think, move, work, parent and communicate.  We’re still shifting as we contend with the endless changes, pivoting so often it feels like a dance.  Like all other businesses and community organizations, CCRC has pivoted.  All of our face-to-face work has become face-to-monitor or ear-to-phone in an effort to deliver our services to those who need us in Peterborough City and County. 

That said, as you know, we’ve had to cancel our Jukebox Mania fundraiser.  We love this event as much as our amazing Jukebox community does.  We, like all other charities host events like Jukebox to bring our community together, but also to raise funds that support our services. 

Access to our  Housing Resource Centre, Professional Counselling, and our Credit Counselling services will be critical for many people in our community as we start to see the full impact of this virus.  We need to be able to reach more people and we need more people to know about our services so they can get the help they need when it matters most. 

We need you, our amazing community to help us help your neighbours, your friends, your family.  You can be the difference in their lives, to make this better for people in our community.  Register to become a monthly donor today, or make a one-time gift by clicking here.

In this newsletter you’ll find updates on our services, an update about our trip raffle,  information on our Jukebox Connections broadcast, the answer to a housing question we were asked, and some strategies from one of our Credit Counsellors and one of our Professional Counsellors about ways to cope with our new reality.    

I hope the answer to how are you, is ‘ok’, but if not, it is ok to not be ok right now.  If you do feel that you need a bit of help to cope with what’s happening, please reach out to us at any of the contact information provided below.

Wishing you health and well-being now and as we continue to face this challenge together. 
CCRC’s Executive Director – Kirsten Armbrust talks about our services in early March 2020.  Special thanks to Jeremy Kelly at Film Kelly for the work on this video.  
While Jukebox Mania may be cancelled this year, we are thrilled to present ‘Jukebox Mania Connections’. A  broadcast event on Cogeco’s YourTV channel – Friday May 29 at 7:30 pm.  Local talent, pics from Jukebox past, service updates, messages from CCRC & our amazing sponsors, and a kick off of our first ever online auction.  Follow us on Social Media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more details & updates.
Nancy Jackson, Credit Counsellor at CCRC talks about coping with the financial challenges of COVID-19 in her April Blog post.  Click on the picture for a link to the article, or follow us on Social Media to catch her upcoming Video Q&A series. 

Emily Rogers Nannarone MSW, joined the Professional Counselling team in early 2020. 
The pursuit of her Undergraduate degree at Trent University was what initially brought Emily to Peterborough.  “I loved the warm, friendly vibe”, she says of her impression of the city. 
Emily left Peterborough to pursue her Master’s degree and then lived in Toronto until an opportunity at CCRC opened up.  “It aligned so well with my values” Emily says of her experience from the interview onward at CCRC.
CCRC’s holistic culture and welcoming environment continue to make an impression on her. “There is so much value in the multi-service approach. People can transition between services so easily, it’s such a supportive and human philosophy”.  This client-centered and adaptable approach to serving clients is something that drew Emily to CCRC. 
When asked about the pandemic, Emily noted “Often, the most vulnerable people fall through the cracks.  Those struggling with addiction, mental health, poverty, and/or trauma – They are marginalized, often forgotten, and this situation is making all of that worse.” CCRC’s Professional Counselling team has been actively working on evolving strategies to help their most vulnerable clients cope.  “We have talked about this within our team.  We are now doing regular check-ins with some of our most vulnerable clients.  It’s not necessarily a traditional counselling session, it’s a phone call to ask how they are doing”.  Emily says that she’ll hear from some people things like ‘You’re the first person I’ve talked to in a week’, or ‘someone cares enough to call to see how I’m doing?’.  It’s these basic tenets of human connection that CCRC’s professional counsellors are working hard to maintain, as well as making sure people are connected to things like food banks, housing supports, credit counselling and reaching out to other service providers to ensure that the supports are in place. 
When asked about what has changed since the pandemic started, Emily says, “People are struggling with the higher levels of uncertainty. I’m seeing a lot of anxiety and a lot of anger, but underlying it is often an incredible amount of grief, whether it’s about missing a trip or not getting a promotion, grief seems to be what many people are really struggling with”. She adds that others appear to be (re)experiencing ‘trauma’, the current situation triggering their past experience of trauma leading to feelings of being ‘trapped’ or ‘powerless’ that can result in a recurrence of symptoms that were previously under control. 
These unprecedented times have challenged people to find new ways of coping with daily stressors.  Some have found creative ways of managing, while others struggle to replace what was working for them before the pandemic. Emily says people need to explore some ‘out-of-the-box’ methods that work for them.  For instance, if you are someone who is soothed by a strong hug, but are alone you can use things like wrapping a warm blanket or even simply your arms around yourself for a similar feeling.  Make time to talk on the phone with other people, talk to those you feel connected to however you can. 

“We all need to reinforce that human connection; it helps calm the nervous system”  Emily says.
For those who are recovering from addiction or are living with domestic violence, the pandemic can make a difficult situation even worse.  “We make safety plans with people”, Emily says of assisting those in these situations.  CCRC’s counsellors work with people to help identify what triggers exist for them, how to assess their safety or risk and what tools can help them at each stage up to and including involving emergency contacts and medical professionals.   “Together we develop a plan for coping and safety and we develop a plan for a return home if medical help is needed, using all of the resources available”. 
When asked about some strategies to deal with the current crisis, Emily recommends:
  • Develop a routine, it doesn’t have to be a strict one, but having general times to wake and go to bed is helpful.  When dealing with the level of uncertainty that we are in, having a schedule can help provide a sense of ‘known’ and give the sense of control over what lies ahead.
  • Set one goal for the day – it doesn’t have to be a big thing.  For many people who are struggling, it could be something as seemingly basic as taking a shower, but for some people it is enough.
  • Use Self-Compassion – be gentle with yourself.  Big changes take time to adjust to.  The changes we are experiencing are happening on an almost daily basis, and each will take its’ own adjustment period.  It’s ok to be productive, and it’s ok to not be productive as you adjust.  We cannot measure our productivity by the same standards we had before the pandemic.  Everyone is dealing with this differently and that’s ok!
  • When dealing with children, don’t prioritize their schoolwork over your relationship with them.  If it’s causing you and your kids stress, it’s not adding value for them right now. 
  • Get outside, or if that isn’t possible, open a window and breathe in the fresh air.  Staying inside will make feelings of isolation worse. 
  • Seek out connection in whatever form that takes for you.  A physically distanced talk or walk with a loved one, a driveway conversation, a phone or video call are all examples of how you can create and maintain those connections while respecting the physical distancing precautions needed.  
  • Reach out if you need help.  Whether it’s CCRC’s professional counselling team, or another mental health professional.  If you are struggling, know that you don’t have to do it alone. We are here to help.
**If you are in crisis, please go to your nearest hospital emergency room, contact your family doctor, or call the 4-County Crisis line at  705-745-6484 or toll-free 1-866-995-9933 (FREE, 24/7, confidential crisis support). 

Questions about Housing?  CCRC’s Housing team has you covered – check out answers to some of your housing questions by clicking on the video below or following us on Social Media.

Our community members have questions about COVID19 and how it’s affecting their housing.  Housing Counsellor Annette Pedlar answers questions in the first of a social media video Q&A series.  
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